Home & Garden Do It Yourself

Build Your Own Hydro Electric Generator

A thought occurred to me the other day about all the information we know about building your own wind turbine. Why not use the same principles used to build a wind turbine, to build a hydro-electric generator. However this is not for everyone. One requirement that you must have is access to a flowing water source, rather it would be a steady flowing creek or a creek you could easily divert.

We could use the same motor that is designated for a wind turbine, one that turns at slow speed, and a dc permanent magnet type motor. You would need to fabricate a water wheel large enough to turn are motor easily with the water flow. As the water turns the motor we would be charging our battery bank.

Here is a basic layout of what you need to generate your own electricity.
  • First you need your dc permanent magnet motor with a speed no greater than 400 rpm, in either 12 or 24 volt.
  • You need a charge controller to regulate the amount of charge going to your batteries. The charge controller will stop charging once the batteries are fully charged your motor will be electrically disconnected from the batteries until they need charged again. A charge controller can be purchased or built from plans found on the Internet.
  • You will need your deep cycle batteries designed for your system. The number of batteries will be determined by the total electrical load you are powering.
  • Finally you will need an AC inverter to convert the 12 or 24 volts from your system which will change from DC volts to usable AC volts or house current.

Word of caution: If you are unsure of your self working with electrical my all means contact a qualified electrician to do all the wiring. Remember that electricity can harm you and even cause death if not properly handled.

Just a few comments about the water flow. Make sure that the water can turn your water wheel freely and that your motor does not come in contact with the water. That is why I suggest building a stand for your motor off the ground in case of a sudden rise in the creek or water way. You want to be smart about your installation and think about all scenarios. This why I like diverting the water with a man made channel which I feel would be easier to control..

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